There is no need to allow voluntary donors beyond certain relatives to donate kidneys as it may give rise to several problems, including organ trafficking, said a report submitted by an expert committee to the High Court.
It said the inclusion of a provision allowing voluntary kidney donors may give rich people an opportunity to exploit the poor by offering them benefits or subjecting them to physical and mental torture.
The seven-member committee headed by Md Rafiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Renal Association and pro-vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, handed over the report to the Supreme Court registrar general’s office on October 29 for placing it to the HC as per its earlier order.
Deputy Attorney General Saifuddin Khaled on Thursday placed the report before the HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman during the hearing of a writ petition filed in the regard in 2017.
The bench fixed November 21 for further hearing on the issue.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, who voluntarily attended the hearing, told the HC that the Organ Transplantation Act 1999 needs to be amended so that any healthy person other than the relatives can donate organs.
He also said there must be a provision in the law so that the poor people are not victimised and the donors are compensated appropriately.
Writ petitioner’s lawyer Barrister Rashna Imam told The Daily Star that as per the definition of the Organ Transplantation Act 1999, the relatives eligible for donating organs are father, mother, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties and husband and wife of a patient.
There is no scope for volunteers, she said, adding that the writ petitioner had sought a directive from the HC for amending the law.
There is no such restriction in India, she added.
One Fatema Zohra has filed the writ petition with the HC in 2017 challenging the constitutionality of sections 2 (ga), 3 and 6 of the act. These sections mainly focused on the definition of the related persons.
Fatema donated a kidney to her ailing daughter Fahmida, But, the kidney got damaged after a year.
Then, she managed a donor for her daughter, but the donor could not donate the kidney due to the bar in the law.
Later on, Fatema submitted the writ petition to the HC seeking necessary order.
During the hearing of the petition, the HC on August 28 this year ordered the authorities concerned to form an expert committee and submit a report.